Handbook of Behavioural Change and Public Policy
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Handbook of Behavioural Change and Public Policy

Edited by Holger Straßheim and Silke Beck

Behavioural change has become a core issue of public policy. Behavioural instruments such as ‘nudging’ apply insights from behavioural economics and behavioural sciences, psychology and neurosciences across a broad range of policy areas. Behavioural insights teams and networks facilitate the global spread of behavioural public policies. Despite an ever-growing amount of literature, research has remained fragmented. This comprehensive Handbook unites interdisciplinary scholarship, with contributions critically assessing the state and direction of behavioural public policies, their normative implications and political consequences.
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Chapter 16: Encouraging longer working lives: a behavioural perspective

R. Kent Weaver


As populations age and pension expenditures grow, governments are increasingly engaged in encouraging workers to change their behaviour by extending their working lives. These policies must address multiple barriers to behaviour change that are very heterogeneous across individuals and sub-groups of the population. These barriers include declining health, reluctance to forego current pension receipt, signals sent by ‘standard’ pension ages that it is time to retire, caring responsibilities for parents and grandchildren, and peer effects as others in their age cohort retire. A variety of strategies are available to governments to alter this behaviour, ranging from improved information about longevity risks to increasing minimum and ’standard’ retirement ages.

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